Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Help the poor.....Take two

After a phonecall from a One World Centre committee member, I’ve taken the unusual (for me) decision to delete a blog item from Saturday 31st Jan (‘Help the poor, close a charity’).
If it was just another do-gooder grumbling at being told that, actually, they’re doing more harm than good and should stop I would completely ignore it, but it’s more complicated than that.
It isn’t that I changed my mind about the general topic either, it’s just that I recognise an unbalance and it should be corrected.
My opinions about the abuse of Manx charitable status and the utter incompetence and ineffectiveness of the regulatory regime remain. When you see something like this (see ) and realise Manx registered charities are part of the problem you should wince.
My absolute contempt for Manx politicians and civil servants and our sham of an overseas aid program, that also remains.
My view that we must stop automatically assuming that any action that can claim charitable status is good – not changed a bit.
The refusal of Manx or UK governments to properly look at the issue of charitable status, and to change the rules which allow any evangelical chancer to avoid tax and scrutiny by calling his scam ‘religious’ – that’s the very heart of the problem.
What I didn’t do very well is to explain that I’m not leaving the One World Centre committee due to any fault of committee members, but because I don’t see what difference they or I can make if the entire structure of Manx charities and overseas aid into which it fits is rotten to the core and being abused right, left and centre by evangelicals, ultra-right wing politicos and a government marketing scheme which, under the pretence of ‘rebranding’ the island, has the sole intent of brainwashing locals into 'thinking positive' instead of criticising things we know are wrong.
What has to be ripped out is that rotten core. Forget ‘charity challenges’ in which we choose between funding the further misery inflicted on any one East European or African community by any one group of bigots and chancers or another which is as offensive but for different reasons. For example, I’m tired of apologising to Romanian friends and relatives who have joked for a decade that they send us plumbers and doctors while we send our village idiots to stir up new sectarian conflicts, siphon off EU funds to their US puppet-masters and put dedicated public sector professionals out of work.
I should also admit that at the time of writing the post, I was still waiting for a hospital appointment, promised in December, to identify mysterious and recurring pains which need such serious painkillers some nights that I can’t travel to work the next morning. And I only got that after taking a day’s holiday in order to get an emergency appointment and finally corner my GP!
As I write I’m just back from the hospital. So, with luck, in a few days I may know the problem and if there’s a solution.
But for the future, you’ll understand why I blog less and don’t waste time on committees which lack the will or focus to tackle the root of local problems in the time my daughter is growing. I’d prefer to be with her.
In fact, as long as she regularly comes home from school full of nonsense inflicted on her against our will by the half-witted spookchasers who have open access to Manx schools these days, I need to be.

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